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TSF Academy Enhancing Player Development Internationally

By Evan Unger, 04/28/22, 11:30AM EDT


Founded in 2005, TSF Academy has been on the cutting edge of player development for over 15 years. One of the founding members of EDP Soccer, TSF Academy now participates in both EDP Soccer Leagues and MLS NEXT. Earlier this month, the club took players on a truly special trip to the United Kingdom.

The clubs 12U, 13U, and 14U boys teams enjoyed a 10-day trip to the United Kingdom from April 7th to April 17h.  During their time there, they spent time in Liverpool, Manchester and Wales. The trip gave the players a chance to experience what it is like for academy players in England.

The teams had either morning sessions or recovery sessions each day, and evening games on five of the nights. The games against the academies gave the TSF Academy players a taste of how much soccer means to the players and families in England, and just how hard it is to play for a professional club. The players got to see the English players' understanding of game principles, fitness, aggression and overall communication during games, which helped them learn and grow.

The squads faced off against Everton FC, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Rochdale FC and Welsh Champions TNS. The players also got to attend professional games, getting to experience  Premier League games, Championship games and an FA Cup game. In the Championship, they got to see Blackburn Rovers vs Blackpool, in the Premier League some got to see Man City vs Liverpool, Manchester United vs Norwich and then a truly special FA Cup Semi-Game between Liverpool and Manchester City took place the day before they returned. Going to the stadiums and learning the history of these world famous clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United are experiences that will last forever for the players and parents.

John Saunders, TSF Academy Sporting Director stated, "Our objective was to ensure every TSF player came back from England a better and more intelligent player. We wanted to create an elite environment packed with football, so the players would experience a lot of different scenarios and challenges. The level of competition in games was impressive both on and off the ball, and our players had to learn and adapt quickly. Overall the trip was amazing for everyone involved, and we believe seeing that level will inspire our players immensely."

Academy Director Lee Leonard also stated, "It was an amazing opportunity for us to spend time with Academy Directors and Coaches in England. We left with a lot of useful knowledge and great insight into how professionals clubs are developing their top talent. This undoubtably will help us continue to improve our program."